Chronic Underinvestment

Underinvestment in infrastructure was the most likely culprit behind the recent Northern Ireland water crisis as watermains froze then broke, emptying reservoirs and running communities dry. A big part of the problem for communities of all sizes is the attitude that if you try hard enough, you’ll get something for nothing. Where most fall foul […]

The False Hope of Linearity

Humans have the remarkable ability to ignore almost every sign pointing to anything but the most favourable outcome. For somethings, (think global warming), it is the status quo that is most appealing, and as a society, we will do almost anything to convince ourselves that any other option is so far removed from the realms […]

Why I Write

Image by urbanworkbench via Flickr Writing is part of my daily routine, I write a lot, both for work and for myself. Being an engineer and a writer seems to be a contradiction to most people, as though the hard analytical mind of an engineer can simply not operate in a creative endeavor such as […]

Set Up for Failure

As a society, (or a species, take your pick), we are terrible at planning and strategising much further than what we are planning to eat for dinner. while Japanese companies plan for world domination in five generations, we are stuck in a revolving door of problems that need immediate attention. But even when we get […]

Simplicity

My whole life is surrounded by technology that has been discovered or invented in the past 50 years. I am a product of Generation-X, the epitome of consumerism. I love and want more technology, I crave the latest gadget, I consume therefore I am. But really, I am a poor example of a consumer, I […]

Green Like God

In conjunction with FaithWords, a division of the Hachette Book Group, UrbanWorkbench has two copies of Green Like God by Jonathan Merritt to give away! Details at the bottom of the post. Everyone is talking about the environment. It is the topic of choice at social functions, it is a buzzword like “sustainability” that has […]

Projecting the Future for Civil Society

I’m slowly whittling my way through the pile of great books on my desk, I haven’t done a book review for a while, so here goes. Survival + is 390 pages of well reasoned thoughts on the economy, resource depletion, climate change and how these things are likely to impact your household, communities and the […]